Mr Frank Port (Steward) was born in Chatham, Kent, England on 6 August 1889.
He was the son of James Port (b. 1860) and Ellen Margaret Roscoe (b. 1857). His father, an infantry private in the British Army, hailed from Hampshire and his mother from Herefordshire and they were married in London on 4 February 1884.
Franks siblings were: Thomas James (1885-1914), Robert Frederick Stephen (1887-1913) and Olive May (1894-1902).
Frank first appears on the 1891 census when he and his family were living at the Lower Chatham Barracks, Kent. The family later moved to Winchester, Hampshire and show up living at the Barracks in St Thomas. His father later left the army and became a railway clerk. His mother Ellen died in Portsmouth on 14 September 1910 and his father apparently died shortly after in Southampton.
Initially pursuing a career as a clerk Frank, an epileptic, joined the Royal Navy on 14 June 1910. Described as standing at 5' 7½", he had brown hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. His first appointment was as the cook's mate aboard Victory I and made two voyages aboard this vessel, later joining the Attentive in March 1911. He appears on this vessel on the 1911 census, then docked at Portland, Dorset and Port was described as an unmarried cook's mate. Despite universal good conduct this was to be his final naval voyage and he was invalided as a result of his epilepsy on 8 June 1911. He went on to join the merchant service.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Frank gave his address as Rockthorne, Tonndry Lane, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Oceanic and as a third class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Port was rescued in lifeboat 13 and he returned to England.
Frank continued working at sea and did so throughout the duration of WWI and into the 1920s. Details about his later life are vague but is believed he married in his later years before moving to Salisbury, Wiltshire where he died in 1943.
Brian Ticehurst, UK
Bill Wormstedt, USA
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Photo: National Archives (Courtesy of Gavin Bell)
Articles and Stories
Western Morning News (1912)